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Need Advice on Used Unisaw Purchase

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Forum topic by CherryO posted 03-10-2017 12:12 PM 1391 views 0 times favorited 38 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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CherryO

25 posts in 483 days


03-10-2017 12:12 PM

Topic tags/keywords: unisaw motor lifespan 36-812 3hp motor question tablesaw

Pretty new to woodworking and this will be my first tablesaw. I am going to pick up a used Unisaw(with Unifence and router extension with router!!) very soon, that looks to be about 16 years old(2000), perhaps only used for 12 years as I don’t think the year stamp reflects when it was first purchased. I was wondering if the motor was too old and if I buy it for say $600 I am going to have to put another $500 or so in it to replace the 3HP 1PH motor within a couple of years? Assume it has been used as a hobbiest’s saw and has never seen anything near commercial use.

I found online here: http://www.leeson.com/TechnicalInformation/faqmotor.html that 1-5HP motors have a MTBF of about 17 years and this saw is right there according to manufacturer. Please tell me there have been motors that last way longer than this before having to replace. Thanks!


38 replies so far

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Carloz

962 posts in 426 days


#1 posted 03-10-2017 12:43 PM

The link you qouted states that the life of the motor affected by the number of starts. So it all depends how often the saw was used. It it was in a production environment it is pretty worn out. If it was sitting in some tool junkie’s garage it could be almost brand nee.

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dhazelton

2608 posts in 2131 days


#2 posted 03-10-2017 12:49 PM

I have tools with motors from the 1930s with bronze bushings that I simply blew the dust out of and put new cords on. I wouldn’t worry about it.

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bigblockyeti

4697 posts in 1555 days


#3 posted 03-10-2017 01:02 PM

Being used by a someone as a hobby, I wouldn’t worry about any kind of failure for a very long time. The two areas that would be the most susceptible to premature failure would be the bearings and the centrifugal switch. Both can be replaced without requiring a new motor and at a very small fraction of what a new motor would cost. In all honesty, unless the motor has been sitting in a pile of sawdust its whole life it’s very unlikely even the most dedicated part time woodworker would be able to use up any more than a small percentage of the motor’s cerall life in just 12 years. You’ll be very happy with the saw and $600 sounds like an excellent deal also.

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MrUnix

5983 posts in 2033 days


#4 posted 03-10-2017 02:46 PM

I found online here: http://www.leeson.com/TechnicalInformation/faqmotor.html that 1-5HP motors have a MTBF of about 17 years and this saw is right there according to manufacturer. Please tell me there have been motors that last way longer than this before having to replace. Thanks!
- CherryO

If that were true, then I have motors running today that should have died over 50 years ago. There are Unisaws in production environments that were made in the 40’s and still have their original motors. It is very rare for one to just go belly up unless you work really, really hard to kill them.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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mike02130

167 posts in 507 days


#5 posted 03-10-2017 02:49 PM

Most likely the motor will outlast you and your children. Damn good saw.

-- Google first, search forums second, ask questions later.

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CherryO

25 posts in 483 days


#6 posted 03-10-2017 03:00 PM

I expected this but wasnt sure and got a little nervous. Thanks for all of the input!! Now curious if this was a good deal is anyone cares to chime in. $650 for 2000 unisaw put into use in 2003. Came with unifence, rolling base, router table ext with router, handful of zero clearance inserts with microsplitter. Seems good to me but im new to this hobby.

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BurlyBob

5047 posts in 2100 days


#7 posted 03-10-2017 03:09 PM

Yeah, that’s a pretty decent deal. You better grab it before someone else beats you to it.

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knotscott

7784 posts in 3210 days


#8 posted 03-10-2017 03:09 PM

Could be a real good deal. Post some pics so we get a better idea of the overall condition. Even if it’s a tad rough, $600 with that fence and a single phase 3hp motor offers a lot of potential to be a great buy IMO.

-- Happiness is like wetting your pants...everyone can see it, but only you can feel the warmth....

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CherryO

25 posts in 483 days


#9 posted 03-10-2017 03:20 PM

No pic as the ad was removed but the saw condition is immaculate from the pictures. only one owner who seems very meticulous. Excited to say the least!

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CherryO

25 posts in 483 days


#10 posted 03-10-2017 03:42 PM

Will def post pic tomorrow after i pick up.

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splintergroup

1694 posts in 1057 days


#11 posted 03-10-2017 06:00 PM

Motors typically will “fail” from the start/run capacitors dying. These are easy to replace and inexpensive. A centrifugal switch can also eventually fail, though usually from pitted contacts that can be cleaned up.

The motor being on it’s last legs is probably the last thing I’d worry about.

View MrUnix's profile

MrUnix

5983 posts in 2033 days


#12 posted 03-10-2017 06:20 PM

Now curious if this was a good deal is anyone cares to chime in. $650 for 2000 unisaw put into use in 2003. Came with unifence, rolling base, router table ext with router, handful of zero clearance inserts with microsplitter. Seems good to me but im new to this hobby.
- CherryO

It’s a pretty good deal… not a steal, but not too bad either. That price is towards the lower end of what those saws typically sell for around here, which is roughly $500-$800 average. The extras do enhance that a bit as well. Being a 2000 model year puts it towards the end of the Pentair years at Delta (just before being sold to Black and Decker), which is a bit less desirable than the older models due to cost cutting measures put in place during those years, but it’s still a very solid saw and will still be around after you aren’t :)

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

View teejk02's profile

teejk02

476 posts in 960 days


#13 posted 03-10-2017 10:30 PM



Now curious if this was a good deal is anyone cares to chime in. $650 for 2000 unisaw put into use in 2003. Came with unifence, rolling base, router table ext with router, handful of zero clearance inserts with microsplitter. Seems good to me but im new to this hobby.
- CherryO

It s a pretty good deal… not a steal, but not too bad either. That price is towards the lower end of what those saws typically sell for around here, which is roughly $500-$800 average. The extras do enhance that a bit as well. Being a 2000 model year puts it towards the end of the Pentair years at Delta (just before being sold to Black and Decker), which is a bit less desirable than the older models due to cost cutting measures put in place during those years, but it s still a very solid saw and will still be around after you aren t :)

Cheers,
Brad

- MrUnix

Your estimates of value amaze me and I’m sure you’re accurate. I live in Amish country and your $650 for a clean machine would probably sell for $1,000 around here.

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CherryO

25 posts in 483 days


#14 posted 03-10-2017 10:55 PM

Yes i would have thought 1k to 1.2k based on just what has hit CL recently…granted no one really knows the exact transaction price unless you were involved.
Brad, what are the most desirable years for this saw holding condition of saw constant?

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MrUnix

5983 posts in 2033 days


#15 posted 03-11-2017 02:59 AM

Yes i would have thought 1k to 1.2k based on just what has hit CL recently…granted no one really knows the exact transaction price unless you were involved.
Brad, what are the most desirable years for this saw holding condition of saw constant?

- CherryO

Trying to base a price on what is ‘recent’ is not really ideal… I’ve seen people put stuff out with crazy stupid prices, and those are the ones you find as they stay out there for a long time. The reasonably priced (and killer deals) come and go quick, and you may not even seen them at all if you only check infrequently. Know what you want, set up some alerts, have cash in hand and be ready to pounce when the real deal shows up.

As for age, Delta sold their machinery division to Pentair in 1984 (and renamed the company to the Delta International Machine Corporation). Before that, they pretty much had remained the same since their inception in the late 30’s with just a few changes. After Pentair got them, they started cutting costs by doing stuff like switching from a NEMA starter to a cheaper IEC type, using thinner sheet metal and incorporating a lot more plastic. Nothing major, but noticeable to anyone familiar with the older machines.

Cheers,
Brad

-- Brad in FL - In Dog I trust... everything else is questionable

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